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StarCraft II Single-Player Details Revealed 206

As Blizzcon approaches, a number of gaming sites were invited out to California to get an early look at the single-player campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Kotaku has a detailed write-up (spoiler-free version), and 1Up summarizes one of the missions: "... you're on a planet with an alternating day/night cycle (every five minutes, it switches): during daylight, you're safe. You can build forces and go out and destroy structures. At night, the infected Terrans will relentlessly stream towards your base — necessitating a strong defense against the 'zombie horde.'" An interview with some of the developers is available, in which lead designer Dustin Browder says Blizzard will continue their trend of having downloadable maps and other improvements throughout the game's life. BlizzPlanet posted a mission guide for the part of the game they got to see, and new video footage has been released that shows off the single-player mode.
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StarCraft II Single-Player Details Revealed

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  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:56PM (#29095135)

    As if Starcraft wasn't damage enough, now comes Starcraft 2. Millions of young South Korean men idling away their lives on multiplayer servers. I think Blizzard's done them more damage than the Japanese occupation.

  • by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:58PM (#29095151) Journal

    An unstoppable message stating: "What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse" or "The Morning Sun Has Vanquished The Horrible Night".

  • by Stenchwarrior ( 1335051 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:00PM (#29095187)

    Warcraft(s), Diablo(s), Starcraft(s)....These guys are the Tom Petty of video games; they just can't write a bad game.

    Maybe they'll get smart and include 40 hours of marriage counseling with this one...

    • by space_jake ( 687452 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:07PM (#29095259)
      I think they can create a bad game, they are smart enough not to release it.
      • by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <> on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:22PM (#29095475) Homepage Journal

        Ahh... Starcraft Ghost.

        • Don't forget the aborted Warcraft-based game that looked similar to old Sierra games.

          • by Thansal ( 999464 )

            Warcraft Adventure iirc.

            I am still waiting on my damn Lost Vikings 3.

          • It was called Warcraft Adventures. Although as I understand it most of the storylines for that game were rolled into Warcraft 3 and WoW, so it wasn't a complete loss. I expect Blizzard to throw a couple nods to Ghost in SC2, as a *ton* of information about that game was pretty well known among Blizzard addicts.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's actually a cool idea. Play the role of a Ghost doing espionage against the enemy. There's a lot of potential when you flesh out the roles. Next up: Galaxy of StarCraft (GoS) to replace WoW. I'd hate to be the zerg guy that gets turned into a building.

          • They need to sub out the ip and force Obsidian and Bioware to work jointly on the game. Those developers, combined with Blizzard's OCD about quality control, and you'd have the best damn RPG ever created
          • by lawpoop ( 604919 )
            After actually reading over the review, it looks like they are adding a lot of role-playing elements to it. There are environments, such as the bar and the bridge, where you just kind of hang out and listen to people talk. This reminds me of the "WoW" preview they had in WCII with that alternate character -- what was his name, beastmaster? Anywho, are you unlocked him, you got to a gameplay model and map that was more like an MMORPG than a regular level with a mission. There was a village as a launching poi
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Akaihiryuu ( 786040 )
          Blizzard wasn't making Ghost. It was being made by a third party (the name escapes me), with Blizzard being given approval over it. They canned it for not meeting their standards.
    • by caladine ( 1290184 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:07PM (#29095269)
      Now, if only they'd add LAN play back.
      • by loufoque ( 1400831 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:37PM (#29097251)

        There is no need to.
        Just set up your own personal server.

        • And that's why I won't be buying this. Which is unfortunate because I'm sure it's going to be a great game, I just don't want to put up with that sort of garbage. One shouldn't have to connect to the internet in order to play except in the case where one is playing multiplayer over the net.

          It's this kind of garbage that leads me to never buy games from EA or via MS.
          • The lost me when I found out the three races' campaigns were going to be spread out over three games. Part of the big interest for me for the original was seeing the war from three perspectives, and getting a chance to control all of them. Frankly, no matter how content much they put into any one of the campaigns, it just seems like it's not going to be as interesting as being able to play all three.

            I'll probably wait until they sell the games as a 3-pack for the price of the original, so I suppose it mea

      • That's such a red herring. You log into, create a private match for you and your friends on the same LAN, and then play. The packets still go between your machines on the same LAN. Unless your LAN doesn't have an WAN connection, there's no difference.
    • Warcraft III was pretty underwhelming.

      I have to say, after being subjected to the abuse known as Age of Conan, I sure do appreciate World of Warcraft. I've never seen a game before so eager to alienate new players. Oh, and having voice overs for every single NPC doesn't help if the voice actors are so bad they could be classified as a war crime.

    • by Eil ( 82413 )

      Maybe they'll get smart and include 40 hours of marriage counseling with this one...

      While we're tilting at windmills, we might as well hope that they'll also stop suing and imposing over-reaching DRM on their fans and customers.

  • by Useful Wheat ( 1488675 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:01PM (#29095193)

    This sounds suspiciously like a standard tower defense game. They were wildly popular when I played starcraft (9 way lurker defense anyone) and if you visit any flash gaming website you'll find a dozen. I'm not saying this is a bad thing (I'm addicted to gemcraft), but it does seem unoriginal. I wonder if they'll give you the ability to change it to nighttime at will.

    • by Turiko ( 1259966 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:07PM (#29095265)
      tower defence isn't exactly right... tower defence always makes the enemy come from one certain direction, or a few. In this one mission, they'll more then likely come seeping out of every hole.... oh, and they aren't so stupid to run right past your base either :).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Horde (1994) had this same 'night monster rush' concept a long time ago. Blizzard isn't revolutionizing anything new.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Blizzard never was a revolutionary company. Warcraft was just dune/c&c with a warhammer-like theme. Starcraft was "just" Warcraft in space, with non-identical sides this time (THE major difference, I would say). Diablo is just a 3rd person real-time dungeon hack. World of Warcraft was not the first mmorpg. What all these games have in common is this: they're well made. To increases sales, they also try not to murder your poor PC.

        • by BassMan449 ( 1356143 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:33PM (#29095625)
          You stated your self what revolutionary things Blizzard has done. The big one being non-identical sides. Think of the major games before Starcraft. I honestly can't think of a single one that had teams that were more than different models and maybe a few variations on special abilities like Warcraft had. The idea of having 3 completely distinct and yet balanced races was extremely revolutionary. What Starcraft did was show that you could have races that were absolutely nothing alike and yet the battles would still be balanced and fun.
          • by dave562 ( 969951 )
            The original Command and Conquer had different sides with different play styles. NOD and GDI had a fairly large variation on their unit types. The few that come to mind were the GDI helicopter were better at killing vehicles and the NOD helicopters were good against tanks. GDI heavy tanks while NOD had stealth tanks. NOD had those laser beam defense towers while GDI had a more generic gun platform like tower. If you compare that to the original Warcraft, I think you'll find more similarities between si
            • by BassMan449 ( 1356143 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:20PM (#29096285)
              They had differences among units sure, but on the whole the races were very similar. With Starcraft playing Zerg requires a completely different style than playing Protoss. As Zerg I can throw Zerglings at you and if they die I don't really care. They are cheap and easy to produce. With Protoss your economy can feel every unit lost. As far as I know no other game had tried something so radical at the time.
          • You stated your self what revolutionary things Blizzard has done. The big one being non-identical sides. Think of the major games before Starcraft. I honestly can't think of a single one that had teams that were more than different models and maybe a few variations on special abilities like Warcraft had.

            The reason why you can't think of any is that Starcraft is pretty much the only game from that period that still survives. In truth, there were plenty - Dark Reign, for example. If you recall, in that age we called them all "C&C clones", and you had at least one new release of such every month or so. Most of them died almost straight away, some lasted for longer, and Starcraft was the king of the hill - but not the first by far, and the field was largely covered before it.

            No, the real thing that Starcra

        • If you're going to be tossing around RTS's with "non-identical sides" then the list would be incomplete without including the original Dune (not the 2000 remake).

          You could choose Harkonan, Ordos or Atreides which had *very* different units available to them. That game ruled.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PitaBred ( 632671 )
          The thing is, Blizzard is revolutionary because they typically do things right. There are very few other games that I can remember (even now) that are as well designed as Starcraft or Diablo. They just work... you can get lost in playing the game, you stop thinking about the engine in the game, where the pathing weaknesses and such are. You just play. THAT is the revolutionary work that Blizzard does.
        • Starcraft was "just" Warcraft in space, with non-identical sides this time (THE major difference, I would say).

          Or just Warhammer 40K skinned ontop of Warcraft, depending on who you ask. Starcraft II looks in many ways to copy from 40K even more (space marines with jetpacks?), but hey, that doesn't stop them from making a very polished and well designed game.

    • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:11PM (#29095315) Journal

      If just one mission is tower defense, I think that leaves a good degree of potential for the rest of them.

      I wouldn't worry much about mission variety here -- if the originality Blizzard has been cranking out for of World of Warcraft quests in the expansions is any indicator, they'll have their hands full experimenting with mission structures.

    • Hmm... 5 minutes to build and stockpile resources, then a 5-minute wave of zombie attackers.

      I know I've played a flash game with the same kind of gameplay... oh yes, I remember -- it was Super Energy Apocalypse.

      FWIW, I found the timed delay waves annoying. I prefer TD games with either constant waves, like Gemcraft or Desktop TD, or with on-demand waves like Protector.

      BTW, are you playing Gemcraft 1 or 0? I stopped playing at lvl 185 in 0, but now I've restarted and am restricting myself to traps onl
    • by impaledsunset ( 1337701 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:49PM (#29095855)

      It doesn't matter if it's technically a standard tower defense game, looking at the screenshot it looks like it's a little scary at night, so it will probably be a lot of fun, your classic standard tower defense game lacked that feeling. A lot of things technically are the same, but when you change the circumstances, they can become quite different. Technically, walking through an empty street after sunset is the same as walking the same street at midnight. If you go and try, though, it certainly doesn't feel the same.

      You can hardly do much to introduce a new game type that is very different from what you had with the original Starcraft without straying from the genre, but you can improve the old ones to create something new, fresh, and exciting. And that's what they've done.

  • haha (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:18PM (#29095417)

    is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that when they play these strategy games all they are essentially doing is balancing a giant system of linear equations?

    • is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that when they play these strategy games all they are essentially doing is balancing a giant system of linear equations?

      Dunno, I rather feel that way when I'm on the level-up screen in any of Wizardry or Might & Magic games.

  • So does the player character look or sound at all like Charlton Heston or Vincent Price?

  • by Daveznet ( 789744 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:52PM (#29095903)
    Starcraft Broodwar was not defined by how good it's single player campaign, it was defined by how balanced the game was in multiplayer mode. Sure Blizzard games usually have really great story lines and awesome cinematics but there is a reason why it has been delayed till 2010. For this game to succeed the multi-player aspect must be up to par with Starcraft Broodwar, Blizzard is currently having difficulties with the latest version of and this is why it has been delayed till 2010. This single player stuff is nice to see but it is just a very small portion of what is in store for Starcraft 2.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Glad to know that the only opinion that matters is yours. I'll be sure to consult you next time I need to know if a game is good or not.

      Personally I couldn't care less about the multiplayer. My idea of a good time doesn't involve teenage boys calling me a faggot Mexican Jew Lizard, which is pretty much all that multiplayer games are.

      • by Tawnos ( 1030370 )
        To be fair, you are on /. - being called a "faggot Mexican Jew Lizard" seems like the kind of AC troll you see around here. So maybe for it to be a good time only requires the person to be named "Anonymous Coward."
  • I'm remembering another game that had a day/night theme. Two sides fighting and one had the advantage in the daytime, the other at night time. Sad if this is just a rip-off of that game. :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Desler ( 1608317 )
      Did you miss the part where this was only just one of the missions? It's not the entire storyline.
      • by Arimus ( 198136 )

        Did you forget this is /. and so reading (or atleast comprehension of the article) is not a requirement before posting... :p

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cheesybagel ( 670288 )
      I can remember at least two other games doing this off the top of my head. Warcraft III, Wesnoth (ok, that is a tactical turn based game).
    • Dark Colony ISTR had day/night bias.
      Could be wrong though, it's from a good few years ago..
  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:46PM (#29096645) []
    quote: In order to install the game, "you need to connect once to install the game," StarCraft II lead designer Browder revealed. A player will also either have or sign up for a account during the installation process.
    • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
      This lost the sale for me. Yes, I have an internet connection. But requiring real-time online registration to play a game is a deal-breaker. It's distasteful. It's one of the reasons I don't have Steam on any of my machines.

      Honestly, this is one of the things I like better about consoles. The ability to play a game is inherent in the physical possession of the disc. That'll probably go away in a gen or two, though.
      • by brkello ( 642429 )
        Yes, but consoles are different aren't they? They are a lot more locked down requiring a more complex hack to break open for piracy. If people actually paid for the games they played, this wouldn't be issue. But that's not the world we live in and so companies have to balance anti-piracy techniques with losing customers that don't like when they do it.

        But odds are, most of the people crying about the LAN issues on here are going to buy it anyways. There haven't been many good RTS games out lately. If
        • by Phroggy ( 441 )

          But odds are, most of the people crying about the LAN issues on here are going to buy it anyways. There haven't been many good RTS games out lately. If you are a gamer...particularly one that like RTS' are like a moth to the flame. You know it is going to burn, but you are going to go anyways and enjoy the ride.

          I won't.

          I was planning to buy Starcraft II as soon as it was available. I no longer intend to do so, and LAN gaming is the reason why. If Blizzard pulls their head out of their ass and enables LAN gaming without, then I will buy it. If a third-party hack becomes available, then I will evaluate whether the most convenient solution is to buy it and hack it, or to illegally download a pre-hacked copy. If such a hack does not become available, I simply won't play it.

          I have no objection to Battle.

  • Anyone have an idea of the recommended system requirements?

  • A level of "DRM" will also be used by limit installation. Dustin explained "you need to connect once to install the game." While singleplayer will be available offline, installation must have an internet connection in order to proceed. You are also required to have or signup for a account in order to install the game. All achievements and friends lists etc will be available as soon as you logon, but the actual single player game is available anyway.

    "You can [play single player offline], but we do

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by melikamp ( 631205 )

      I hate and distrust non-free software more than most, but I actually am OK with this type of non-free for big-budget computer games. Basically, I must be able to run them in the userland, privilege wise, and I want my privacy preserved (no submitting hardware/other software specs without my consent). Beyond that, they can do whatever chit-chat with the home-base they want. They can require uninterrupted Internet connection. (I do, so why cannot they? Being on the Internet is quite a priority for me, and I a

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun